American Idol, My 2 Cents Worth: 10 Become 8

American Idol is just one night now, but it really seemed to drag along and could have been less than its two hour length. We were given a double elimination at the beginning of the top of last night’s show, thus giving us the Top 8. In another of the many twists and turns that we’ve seen so far this season, the judges told us that the bottom three would sing for the judges and that they would save one and send the other two packing.

We were first told who was safe and moving on to the Top 8 and then that artist performed. Dalton Rapattoni was the first announced and he performed Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive.” It was good, but it was my least favorite performance by him so far this season because, unlike with other performances, he did nothing with the arrangement. It showed no originality and was more of a karaoke performance.

Lee Jean was next and he’s a great kid, but his spot was more deserving to one of those in the bottom three. He didn’t perform an Ed Sheeran song this week, SHOCKER, but went with the Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.” It was a nice change-up for him, but it was kind of plain for me. Kudos to him for trying something new and in a different direction.

Sonika Vaid was next and performed Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” and it was a solid vocal delivery, but needed more grit and attitude in it. Overall, she’s second to LaPorsha to having the best voice of all the females, but she needs more personality to come shining through.

MacKenzie Bourg was next and he performed Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and he changed the arrangement on this one bringing new life to a song we’ve all heard many times before. I thought it was a great performance and really pushed how much of an artist MacKenzie is and not just a singer doing the same thing each week.

La’Porsha Renae was next and she took on Beyonce’s “Halo” and knocked it out of the park. I wonder what goes through the other contestant’s heads while she’s performing? She’s so strong when she takes that stage and has to be somewhat intimidating to some of the younger contestants, even if they are friends.

Trent Harmon was next and he did Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” and delivered a performance that I personally put right up there with La’Porsha’s last night. They talked in his intro clip about the judges helping him control his facial expressions and tone them down. Ok, maybe this was advice that the judges thought would help him with some of the voters, but REALLY? I wonder of people told Joe Cocker back in the day to tone it down? Those expressions are part of what makes Trent special and I have no problem with them.

Tristan McIntosh was next and performed Vince Gill’s “Go Rest High on That Mountain” and gave her best performance in weeks. She sat at the piano and gave a very sincere, emotional performance and it reminded us of why we liked her so much.

That left us with the bottom three in Avalon Young, Olivia Rox and Gianna Isabella. Avalon sang The Weeknd’s “Earned It” and slayed it. She sat there on her stool, so smooth and confident, and she killed it. She was not deserving of being in the bottom three, but that’s all up to America.

Olivia Rox was next and she performed Pink’s “Trouble” and she was good, but her performance did nothing for me other than proving she has a great voice with personality, but it was rather bland.

Gianna Isabella was last and she sang Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You” and she looked and sounded great, but for me, it lacked depth and emotion. She looked great and she sang great, but I felt nothing.

So, the judges decided to save Avalon and send her to the Top 8. It’s only five weeks until the finale in this somewhat rushed season. Next week, we will be back to a single elimination based on last night’s performances. My vote is on Lee Jean to go because he’s just not where the other contestants are at in their development, but, as we well know, America doesn’t always vote on who is the most talented.

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